What you eat every day is always important, but when you are breastfeeding you’re not just fueling yourself, you’re fueling your tiny new human. What you eat no longer just affects you – your diet provides your breastmilk with vital nutrients and can directly impact your milk production or even your little one’s tummy.
Breastfeeding is such a special time in a mother’s life but doesn’t necessarily require any crazy changes to your diet. Eating whole, healthy foods is always a safe bet.
Consider these 5 go-to recipes if you’re a breastfeeding mom to fuel yourself, your milk supply, and your precious bundle.
1. Carrot Cake Overnight Oats
Take your overnight oat game to a whole other level with this carrot cake oats recipe. Oats are one of the most recommended foods for upping your breastmilk production, and odds are you already have nearly all the ingredients in your cabinet or fridge. Plus, it only takes 10 minutes to whip up this easy, nutritious breakfast. Top with greek yogurt and pecans the following morning and dig in!
2. Lactation Granola Bars
You’ve probably heard of lactation cookies which are meant to boost your milk supply. These granola bars offer the same benefits but are less calorically dense. Of course, you may need to run to the store for flaxseed, brewers yeast and wheat germ, but you’ll find these ingredients in many lactation recipes so you can use them again and again throughout your breastfeeding journey. When you’ve gathered the ingredients, mix them all together, press the dough into a pan and bake. Easy peasy!
3. Green Lactation Smoothie
This recipe combines dark, leafy greens, hemp protein and coconut to help you produce more milk in no time. Plus, it works as a quick, healthy snack that will also give you that boost of energy you need to make it through the day. Blend the ingredients together, adding strawberries and ice last. Then, simply pour into a tall glass and sip away. Bonus: any one-handed snack is a breastfeeding moms best friend.
4. Japanese Noodle Soup
If you’re suffering from mastitis or lacking in milk supply, this soup may help. The recipe calls for garlic, which some say is a natural remedy for mastitis. Additionally, the soup contains green onions, carrots, spinach and mushrooms which can all boost lactation. Fermented foods like miso are also a great addition to any diet. So grab a pot, toss in the ingredients and simmer. Consider doubling the recipe so you have a sippable late-night snack.
5. Crispy Sesame Tofu with Tahini Peanut Sauce
Tahini, which is made from ground sesame seeds, gives your body calcium, omega-3 and proteins. These nutrients help you recover from pregnancy and childbirth. They also promote growth and development in your baby throughout the first year of their life. This recipe combines the healing power of tahini with lactation-boosting ingredients like garlic and ginger. Be sure to marinate your tofu for an even more flavorful meal.
Healthy Eating Is Key
The above foods all have one thing in common — they’re healthy. Oats, garlic, leafy greens, and sesame seeds may seem like a random hodgepodge of foods but they are all known to boost lactation – and they are pretty tasty, too! These quick and tasty recipes will ensure you’re fueling yourself and your baby properly. If none of these recipes strike your fancy, keep these key ingredients in mind when preparing your next meal if you’re a breastfeeding mom.
There’s No Need to Radically Change Your Own Diet
A common misconception any time a baby is fussy is due to mom eating something “wrong.” Onions, spicy foods, garlic, and others are often labeled as offending foods, and many moms will reduce their diet to nothing but grilled chicken in an attempt to soothe a colicky baby. But while the foods you eat can influence the flavor of your breast milk, your diet doesn’t actually change the composition of your breast milk enough to cause any real issues. So don’t worry about dietary restrictions, in fact, focus on getting a good variety and balance to your diet, because a healthy mom is the best thing you can give your baby.
A few exceptions would be cow’s milk products and soy, which both have proteins that are known to cross into breast milk. Occasionally babies will have a hard time digesting these proteins and eliminating them from mother’s diet will help with intestinal problems baby might be experiencing. This can be easily diagnosed by having your infant’s poop checked for microscopic flecks of blood at the pediatrician. If your child is diagnosed with a cow’s milk protein or soy intolerance (not the same as an allergy and usually outgrown), then you might need to make some temporary diet changes.1CMPI – Cow’s Milk Protein Intolerance